The anti-aging diet

It's the simplest way to live a little longer: eat a little fruit, and drink a little tea.

Fruits and teas -- as well as some nuts, legumes and vegetables -- are nature's best source of life-giving polyphenols, nutrients essential to fighting disease and staying alive.

And if you make sure you have plenty of polyphenols in your own diet, you could slash your risk of a premature death by 30 percent, according to a new study of more than 800 seniors tracked for up to 12 years.

There are plenty of reasons for this, since there are hundreds of polyphenols and they work to help your body in so many different ways.

But for the most part, they all have one thing in common: They can fight off oxidative stress and inflammation, two of the biggest risk factors for the diseases of aging.

And some of them even have the power to ward off cancer.

Now, many studies on the benefits of certain foods and the nutrients found in them rely on memory and best-guess estimates to figure out who's eating what and how much.

As you can imagine, it's not the most reliable way to conduct research -- and that's what makes this new study so remarkable, because it didn't rely on memory and best-guess estimates.

The researchers used a urine test, so they know exactly how many polyphenols the volunteers were eating each day -- and thanks to those measurements, I can give you an exact number for cheating death: 650 milligrams.

Make sure you get at least 650 milligrams of polyphenols each day, and you could enjoy that same 30 percent reduction in the risk of an early death.

Of course, the big problem here is that most people don't know how much they're getting -- or whether or not they're getting the right polyphenols in the right amounts.

And in some cases, it's impossible to get the right amounts from diet alone. Some of the most promising studies on resveratrol, for example, use 100-200 times the amounts you'll find in food.

That's why along with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, I recommend making sure you take a quality antioxidant supplement from a maker you trust -- ideally one with both resveratrol and grape seed extract.